California wineries make good red blends from Cabernet Sauvignon. I am not going to dispute that statement. But it bothers me when I hear wine drinkers discount the rest of the world’s producers.
I swear if I took the label off the bottle of the Casillero del Diablo Reserva Winemaker’s Red Blend from Chile you’d think it was from Napa Valley or maybe even Bordeaux, France. It is a premium blend of 60 percent Syrah, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 percent Camenere in my book and an excellent table topper with barbequed ribs and steaks.
I recently shared a bottle with the Wine Goddess over steak tips, rice and a Greek salad.
Casillero del Diablo, which translates from Spanish into English as “Devil’s Cellar”, is a product of the outstanding Concha y Toro Family Vineyard.
I’ve made it my Bargain Wine No. 5 as I build my $100 case of 12 quality bottles. It costs from $8 to $12 in various markets, but I purchased it locally for $8.99.
Up front, there’s a big black cherry nose manufactured from the Cabernet-Syrah union. It foreshadowed an exquisite, full-bodied run of plum and chocolate cherry flavors that excited the palate. The finish was spicy, toasty and more sophisticated than I expected from the bargain price. Which is a good lesson to learn: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a quality wine – and the Casillero del Diablo ranks high on the list of top-notch values.
There is a nice heat sensation to this wine and I think you will agree with me that it makes it distinctively Chilean and worthy of the experience.
So I now stand at $41.45 spent with five wines in the case. Seven more to go and $58.55 in the wallet.